Efforts continue to contain Thailand oil spill from reaching beaches

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The city of Rayong has warned its citizens and operators to be careful and to avoid swimming in the sea. Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha has tasked relevant agencies to work with Star Petroleum Refining Plc. to deal with repercussions from the leak. Now the high priority is to prevent oil from reaching beaches.

Mr. Channa Iamsaeng, Governor of Rayong Province, issued a warning to the public and tour operator to be careful or avoid swimming in the sea in the area where oil slicks could be floating.

Star Petroleum Refining Plc., responsible for the pipeline, told the press that the leak is of about 160,000 liters of oil. The company said about 20,000 liters remain in the sea.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Warawut Silpa-Archa said after participating in an aerial survey of the area in question that the situation is not nearly as dire as initially feared.

After the accident, the company has urgently used reagents and equipment to remove oil stains. Furthermore, the oil company started coordinating with local agencies such as the Environmental Surveillance and Control Center (EMCC), the Emergency Response and Broadcasting Command Center, the nearby fishery community, the Marine Center for National Interest. The main objective of this plan is to help each other take action to reduce the environmental impact as much as possible.

The Environment Minister said the government would evaluate the spill’s impact on the environment. Asked whether the oil leak would affect seafood prices, he said it is too soon to answer the question, and there is insufficient information at the moment.

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